HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
An invasion of cheats: The evolution of worthless nuptial gifts

So-called nuptial gifts often consisting of food or tokens are typically bestowed by males on females as part of courtship and copulation rituals in many species. By manipulating the nuptial gifts that female insects receive during copulation, researchers have now shown that female preferences can be exploited by males who are "cheating" on their reproductive investment by presenting easily obtainable token gifts.

Gift-giving during courtship and copulation occurs across the animal kingdom, including in humans. Nuptial gifts can range from valuable nutritious food items to inedible tokens such as leaves or silk balloons. Gift-giving is of clear benefit to females when gifts are nutritious and thus valuable, but why females of some species require an inedible and worthless gift remains unexplained. In experiments reported this week, researchers Natasha LeBas and Leon Hockham from the University of St. Andrews removed the valuable (i.e., edible) nuptial gift that male empidid dance flies normally provide their female partner and replaced the gift with either a large edible gift or an inedible cotton ball token that resembles tokens given by other empidid fly species. The researchers found that although pairs copulated longest after presentation of a large edible gift, the females receiving the worthless cotton ball token were sufficiently tricked to allow males to copulate for as long as when the males provided a small nutritious gift. Males who substitute highly visible, but easily obtainable and worthless gifts may thus be able to invade a population of genuine gift-giving males.

The research demonstrates that, at least in some cases, females are susceptible to the invasion of so-called male cheating behaviour, and it suggests that the evolution of worthless gift-giving may arise though males' sensory exploitation of female preferences for nutritious gifts.

Natasha R. LeBas and Leon R. Hockham: "An Invasion of Cheats: The Evolution of Worth
'"/>

Contact: Heidi Hardman
hhardman@cell.com
1-617-397-2879
Cell Press
10-Jan-2005


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Whiteflies and plant viruses can help each other to speed up biological invasion
2. Modeling alien invasions: Plasticity may hold the key to prevention
3. Different strategies underlie the ecology of microbial invasions
4. Tissue geometry plays crucial role in breast cell invasion
5. Oceanic invasions across Darwins impassable barrier
6. New study finds multiple invasions increase green crabs Canadian range
7. Exotic crab poised for widespread UK invasion
8. Researchers identify molecular anchor that allows bacterial invasion of central nervous system
9. Gene expands malarias invasion options
10. Gene expands malarias invasion options
11. Tracking a killer: Observing liver invasion by malarial parasites

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:1/29/2020)... ... January 29, 2020 , ... Jason ... and Data Sciences practice, providing consulting services for strategy, research and development and ... Mike Townley, co-founder and Managing Partner of CREO, an innovative management consulting and ...
(Date:1/28/2020)... (PRWEB) , ... January 28, 2020 , ... ... life sciences companies and government agencies, announced that the firm has established a ... country. Tunnell’s Cambridge office will be in the Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC), at ...
(Date:1/27/2020)... ... January 27, 2020 , ... Cytonus Therapeutics Inc. today ... tech entrepreneur, and former senior management consultant at McKinsey & Company who holds ... alternative investment firm. , “Chris Thorne has exceptional business acumen with a ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/3/2020)... ... February 03, 2020 , ... ... MA, announce that OmniType, the 11-locus, single tube multiplex successor to Holotype HLA ... best-in-class product featuring locus-multiplexing and short library preparation, for HLA genotyping from sample ...
(Date:1/28/2020)... (PRWEB) , ... January 28, ... ... of enterprise software solutions for biopharmaceutical R&D, today announced the release of ... reinforces Genedata’s focus on supporting the implementation of Multi-Attribute Methods (MAM) for ...
(Date:1/27/2020)... ... January 27, 2020 , ... Cerebyte, the leader in “instant ... today announced the availability of neuroscience of transformational leadership workshops. These highly interactive, ... of leadership and change research to become great transformational leaders. The workshops ...
(Date:1/24/2020)... ... January 24, 2020 , ... The plastic and reconstructive surgeons at ... New Jersey epitomize the notion that plastic surgery is much more than just cosmetic ... media. , Over the last 20 years NJ Top Docs, Dr. Andrew Elkwood, Dr. ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: